The alcohol treatment industry uses the Jellenik
curve to describe the timeline of alcohol addiction and recovery.
These antiquated treatment systems see hitting rock bottom and abstaining permanently as essential
parts of the recovery process.
LifeBac helps people who want to cut back their drinking take control before the slide into alcoholism. We're not a rehab or treatment clinic, but a collection of modern, science-based tools to empower people not just to avoid the downward spiral, but to better themselves and their relationships permanently. LifeBac lets you dodge the downward spiral; loss of relationships, career, finances, and health; and pain of detox, withdrawal, rehab, AA, and lifelong abstinence.
Take control of your drinking today before it's too late!
Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., a LifeBac partner who offers access to an exclusive behavior-change program through our platform, writes in The Abstinence Myth that problem-drinking is a symptom of a larger issue. Drinking helps take the edge off, but leaves unresolved issues behind. As life’s unresolved problems stack up, the drinking keeps up too.
“SAMHSA’s definition of recovery doesn’t include abstinence anywhere within it. In fact, I tell those I work with that if all they achieved by working with me is abstinence, then I have failed them. True recovery is not about abstaining, but about flourishing.”
Dr. Jaffe's revolutionary course gets to the core of the problem in a nonjudgemental, convenient way, allowing anyone who struggles with over-drinking to find real change from the comfort of their own home. Take the course at your own pace and control your own progress.
Find out if LifeBac is right for you in a free consultation with a U.S. Doctor
Your Current Monthly Alcohol Cost
Calculations based on low-risk drinking levels as defined by the World Health Organization
Alcohol treatment programs have hardly changed since the 1950’s; the medical profession and Alcoholics Anonymous deemed alcoholism a disease, assuming that certain people are innately prone to alcoholism, and taking responsibility away from the addict in the hope that more people would seek treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) as a “chronic relapsing brain disease”.
Lance Dodes, M.D., former Director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Harvard’s McLean
Hospital, says that alcoholism is not a disease. It’s a symptom of a larger psychological issue —
something happening in that person’s life. It's a compulsion, like gambling, and needs to be
treated that way.
“I've probably treated a couple of thousand people who have one addiction or another. Almost all residential treatment programs in the United States are 12-Step-based, so their effectiveness will depend entirely on whether 12-Step programs work, and the statistics for AA are not good. It is helpful for 5‒10%, and that's a good thing; that's 5‒10% of people who are being helped by AA — it's a lot better than zero percent — but it shouldn't be thought of as the standard of treatment because it fails for most people — for the vast majority of people.”
It labels people “alcoholics” for life and
creates undue shame and stigma around seeking help when most people who over-drink aren't alcoholics
and simply want to drink less.
It takes the individual’s power to decide to change away, then the 90%+ who fail treatment believe not only that they are powerless, but that they can’t ever succeed. This destroys their self-worth and pushes them further towards the solace of alcohol. The disease model convinces its victims that they have a chronic disease, leading many to believe that they will never be free, when, in reality, most excessive drinkers can make it out.
Mark Willenbring, MD talking at the Nobel Conference on Addiction (14 mins)
Alcohol overindulgence is related to the same neurological reward pathways as gambling, sex, food, and porn. Addiction is in the brain, not the substance. 20% of returning soldiers from Vietnam identified themselves as heroin addicts upon being shipped home. 95% of them successfully discontinued heroin use upon returning. This video from Johanne Hari exposes the myth of the “chemical hook”
Many people today simply do not believe they have a chronic disease, they don’t want to abstain for
life, and they don’t want the stigma and shame of being labeled an alcoholic. They prefer to
as they are, try quitting cold turkey or try using willpower to fight off cravings than go to
Alcoholics Anonymous or rehab, so they simply don’t seek alcohol treatment. 30 million people in the
U.S. have AUD, and another 30 million are either binge drinkers or heavy drinkers. Only 10% of
people with AUD ever seek help and most of those are forced to by the courts or relatives. Many have
multiple visits to multiple programs - the revolving door effect.
Neuroscientist Marc Lewis explains in easy to understand and entertaining language the learning model of craving and why it is not a disease, and that most people with the desire to change and the help of medication and tools can rewire their mind and kick the habit forever.
85% of rehabs and Alcoholics Anonymous all subscribe to the disease theory: they treat alcoholism as a chronic disease that follows its victims for life. They preach that the only path to recovery is to surrender, admit helplessness, and suffer through a lengthy recovery ending in abstinence. Under this system, of course, only 10% of those who drink too much ever seek help, and only 10% of them find any success. 99.9% of problem-drinkers suffer needlessly daily with a destructive yet fixable habit.
LifeBac combines medication to remove cravings and tools to break the habit loop, so you can not only avoid rock bottom and the pain of recovery but have a better life without having to quit.
"Most of it (treatment) can be done in primary care... I mean, a counselor with a GED preaching AA
for four weeks is no backup for a physician... Medications are going to become increasingly important,
that’s why the neuroscience research is so important... Most therapy - psychotherapy - will be provided
on the web. So those are the future directions, and there is a lot to say about the use of technology
as well. The future is bright, but we have to make treatment
available, accessible, affordable, and attractive."
Mark Willenbring, MD
Former Director of the NIAAA Division of Treatment and Recovery Research
This is LifeBacs's philosophy: the future has arrived. Pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy can be delivered online anywhere with technology to support.
Baclofen removes or strongly suppresses cravings for alcohol in 92% of people. These strong cravings are the #1 reason people have difficulty cutting back or quitting drinking. Clinical trials give Baclofen a 65% success rate returning treatment-resistant alcoholics to low- or medium-risk drinking. 50% of those who succeed using Baclofen go further and quit drinking entirely by choice. The less the person previously drank and the shorter the time, the less medication required.
LifeBac gives you the choice of whether you want to drink or not. When you do choose to drink, you’ll feel more satisfied much sooner. The result is significantly fewer drinking days and significantly fewer drinks on those days. Baclofen doesn’t, however, affect the taste of alcohol or the pleasure of drinking — it simply removes the addictive components that lead to overindulgence and allows you to drink in moderation.
In 2008, Dr. Olivier Ameisen, Weill Cornell Hospital cardiologist and the former first physician to
the Prime Minister of France, discovered a solution to his chronic over-drinking after 8 rehab
and 5000 AA meetings. He experimented on himself using baclofen to markedly decrease the release of
dopamine in the reward pathway of the brain, diminishing or suppressing the conditioned response to
“complete suppression, not just a reduction in cravings; I am indifferent to it.”
Dr. Anna Rose Childress from the University of Pennsylvania performed experiments on cocaine users to assess the efficacy of baclofen (baclofen has been proven in humans to be effective for both alcohol and cocaine cravings). Her experiments have shown that cravings result from the cue-triggered activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system, these cues can be so brief that they are outside of conscious awareness, yet produce robust activation within this circuitry. Baclofen is a GABAB receptor agonist that reduces the release of dopamine into this system elicited by alcohol cues and seems to do so at the very earliest onset of the dopamine rush so as to stop the craving from happening.
An Excerpt from the HBO Documentary, "Addiction"
Doctors in Europe prescribe baclofen as the primary treatment for alcohol misuse. In France alone there are over 10,000 prescribing physicians and more than 300,000 people taking baclofen (from a population ⅙ of the U.S.) for help with alcohol cravings. It is in the process of being approved as the first-line alcohol treatment in Australia after a petition by the Royal Perth Hospital. In the U.S., the FDA has already approved the medication as safe (although originally as a muscle relaxant), it can be prescribed by U.S. physicians (but rarely is) for alcohol cravings. Baclofen has 65% success rates compared with 7% for Alcoholics Anonymous and rehab yet most physicians will still recommend AA and rehab over medications, only 1% of people seeking help with over-drinking in the U.S. receive medication.
Clinical trials in Europe have shown 65% success allowing treatment-resistant alcoholics to return
to low-risk drinking levels or abstinence when using the Ameisen method of titrated (not fixed)
dose. These studies also showed that 92% of patients had a noticeable reduction in cravings.
Approximately 50% of those who were successful on baclofen decided themselves to quit entirely.
Several studies have not been as conclusive with many using flawed assumptions or goals, mostly too low a dose, too short a study, using fixed-dose instead of titration, or measuring only abstinence not achieving low-risk drinking. One study concluded that baclofen was no more effective than placebo, but its results showed both the placebo and Baclofen with a 65% success rate. Studies using the Ameisen method with titration have proven 65% successful on average or two out of three people
Baclofen treatment requires titration (slow dose increase) until cravings are completely removed or
controlled (the effective dose) which varies widely between patients dependent on previous drinking
habits. There is no necessity to detox or abstain just continue to drink normally. For most people
the number of drinks per day will reduce naturally, others describe it as “flicking a switch”.
There can be minor side effects including tiredness, nausea, headaches or dizziness, they are usually easily manageable and go away within a few days. This happens mostly at the start. The vast majority of people persist as they pass in a couple of days when they occur, and the benefits of control over drinking far outweigh the temporary unpleasant side effects.
The LifeBac app and team manage each individual’s titration process minimizing side effects to deliver a life free of cravings and all the benefits of drinking at low-risk levels.
Baclofen is processed by the kidneys, not the liver, so it is well-suited for alcohol treatment
Clinical trials show that baclofen significantly reduces or removes the effects of alcohol withdrawal.
Between 2002 and 2013, Alcohol Use Disorder increased by 83.7% among women in the United States (NIAAA). In younger age groups, women already drink significantly more than men, and it's having an increasingly visible effect on their overall health. 1 in 6 women admit to having driven drunk in the past year, and 70% are consistently drinking at unsafe levels according to the WHO. A 2018 study found a steep overall rise in the number of alcohol-related ER visits between 2006 and 2014, but the increase was notably greater for women than men.
As a society, we often make the mistake of assuming over-drinking to be a male-dominated issue; up until 1961, women in Illinois were legally allowed to buy alcohol at 18 instead of 21, because it was believed that female drinking was never problematic. It's time we abandon these antiquated assumptions and face the truth: women are suffering now more than ever from problem-drinking, and must be supported.
Anxiety and Alcohol Use Disorder influence and maintain each other in a positive feedback loop. Anxiety often pushes people to drink, and excessive drinking is known to significantly increase anxiety, maintaining and worsening both issues in a "vicious cycle of comorbidity" (NIH: Anxiety and Alcohol Use Disorders). "Hangxiety" is the term coined for the rush of strong anxiety that comes on after a heavy drinking session, often late at night, interrupting sleep and further reinforcing the loop.
Baclofen is also used as an anxiolytic (a drug used to reduce anxiety). It works directly on the brain's reward pathways to reduce urges to drink alongside general anxiety, helping to reverse the cycle.
When processes are repeated for years or decades, the habit is tightly wound, it is possible to unwind the habit loop using mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness allows you to step back and see what is happening inside your mind and take action to step in and break the loop. “Habits can be described as automatic behavioral loops, involving triggers, behaviors, and rewards. For example, one may feel stressed (trigger), take a drink or two (behavior), and feel better (reward). When you attain (and, later, anticipate) the reward, your brain releases dopamine in a neural process that lays down a memory of that behavior and helps you learn to execute that behavior next time to attain the reward.” Judson Brewer, Ph.D.
We built LifeBac to show people with a drinking problem that there is a way out, a way to beat this
problem and return to a normal life without the requirement of abstinence or “recovery”. The modern
methods of combining medication to remove cravings, with behavior change to rewire habits can help
people rebuild their lives, their careers, their health.
But our aim is to go further than that, by helping these people return to normal drinking habits and building their lives into something much better than their old view of “normal” we hope to also save many marriages and families. We feel that abundantly more healthy, happy people and better family lives is a worthy goal!
LifeBac is designed to turn the alcohol treatment upside down putting the person with the problem at
the top, not at the bottom. Give that person all the tools to succeed, the power to choose their own
path, their own goals, and how fast or slow they would like to get there. Give them medication so
they control their drinking, not the other way around, a coach to motivate for habit change, a
community of similar people to support and access to powerful behavior change programs.
This is very different from being at the bottom. Being told they have a disease and they need to succumb and do as they are told is their only hope.
For too long people with a drinking problem have been forced to keep their drinking problem secret lest they end up labeled an “alcoholic” and spend the rest of their days abstinent, fighting cravings, and in rehab or AA meetings.
Why are problem-drinkers still being treated with 1930’s treatments? Who would still go to the
dentist if this
was the treatment? It’s little wonder only 10% of problem-drinkers seek treatment at all when this
is what they expect.
Our mission is to bring the very best modern treatments from around the globe and offer them in the privacy of the home or office. A combination of modern effective treatments using the best technology for the best results. No shame, no stigma, no judgment.
And let’s remove the shame about talking about alcohol problems now that there are effective treatments. 33% of people confess lying to their doctor about how much they drink for fear of the consequences. Let’s talk about our successes and help more people!